Home Mental health workshop for high school students Sunday at the Wayne Theatre

Mental health workshop for high school students Sunday at the Wayne Theatre

Crystal Graham
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A group of churches in Waynesboro is tackling the issue of youth mental health head on – with a workshop for high school students on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Wayne Theatre in downtown Waynesboro.

The “Mental Health and Trauma Workshop” will include a presentation followed by a panel discussion. Pizza and other refreshments will be available for all attendees.

“Everyone acknowledged that the pandemic had taken a toll on the emotional well-being of teenagers, and it was decided that we should invite some experts to provide information, guidance and support,” said Sarah Mendonca, one of the event organizers.

The ARROW Project will give a presentation focused on how trauma affects mental health as well as coping strategies.

The panel following the presentation will feature Dr. Lindsey Lennon, psychology and sociology teacher at the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School, Dr. Peter DeVries from Valley Pediatrics; and the Rev. Benjamin Badgett, rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“While I can’t speak for everyone, my sense is that the overarching goals of this program are to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, to help young people feel comfortable talking about mental health issues, and to give them some tools that can help them, whether they are facing their own problems or helping their peers,” said Mendonca. “Everyone involved is glad to be able to offer this kind of support at a time when we all know that young people need so much help.”

The event is being organized by the Waynesboro Ecumenical Group – a group of churches in Waynesboro who have been collaborating and seeking common ground for many years, according to Mendonca.

The ecumenical group of churches who are initiating this event is an ever-evolving group and have shared in ministry with other area churches in the past, said Rev. Badgett. He also said they welcome other churches to join them.

The group received a grant pre-pandemic that was intended to support programming for youth but the pandemic postponed the planning process.

Advance registration is requested but not required: click here.

Questions about the event may be sent to [email protected]

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.